Sunday, 29 Nov 2020

GCSEs and A-Levels cancelled next year in Wales

GCSE and A-level exams will not go ahead in Wales next year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has been announced.

Pupils will instead be graded based on teacher-managed assessments, some of which will be externally set and marked, but delivered within a classroom environment under teacher supervision. The decision comes after all exams were cancelled across the UK this year due to Covid-19 and its impact on schools.

Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams said: ‘The well-being of learners and ensuring fairness across the system is central in our decision-making process.

‘In line with the recommendations of both Qualifications Wales and the Independent Review, there will be no exams for GCSE or AS level learners next year. A-level students will also not be required to sit exams.

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‘We remain optimistic that the public heath situation will improve, but the primary reason for my decision is down to fairness; the time learners will spend in schools and colleges will vary hugely and, in this situation, it is impossible to guarantee a level playing field for exams to take place.’

Ms Williams also said universities across the UK had been consulted and had confirmed they are ‘used to accepting many different types of qualifications’.

She went on: ‘They expect a transparent and robust approach which provides evidence of a learner’s knowledge and ability. Our intended approach does just that, as it is designed to maximise the time for teaching and learning.

‘Cancelling exams provides time for teaching and learning to continue throughout the summer term, to build the knowledge, skills and confidence in our learners to progress in whatever they decide to do next.’

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